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#26529 - 04/07/04 05:20 AM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Okay, check this out:

http://www.travelready.net/product_info.php/products_id/981

I have one of these. I tested it out. I followed the instructions, and operating the striker is quite intuitive (easy to figure out even without instructions).

I lit the cotton on the third strike. It burned for about 5 minutes. The cotton was sitting in water (just as a test), and didn't burn completely, but enough to have worked for firebuilding I think.

It was actually easier pulling sparks out of this unit than it is with the standard metal match and the back of a knife blade. The price is right, too. It is now part of my daily pack, and I will get another couple for gp.

If you can't get a fire going with this little gem under all but the worst possible conditions imaginable, you likely will not with anything else save for a working butane lighter and a pile of dry tinder. <img src="images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#26530 - 04/07/04 05:53 AM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


The one I just tested did not burn itself, probably because I had it on a concrete floor. Appears that it was just the alcohol burning off.
So, it seems that the burn time would be dependent on the material used to make the swab and the amount of alcohol it holds. Also, if it were suspended in some way so that air could get underneath it, as it most likely would be when starting a fire, it might have burned faster.
Burn time might also depend on the age of the swab, how well packaged/sealed, etc.

Have to send this one in to "Watch Mr. Wizard" to get an official test done.


Edited by Skater (04/07/04 05:59 AM)

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#26531 - 04/07/04 05:56 AM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Looks neat.
Worth adding a few to the kits. First time I have seen this.
Just in time for my REI rebate dividend.
Thanks.


Edited by Skater (04/07/04 06:01 AM)

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#26532 - 04/07/04 06:30 AM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Quote:
Okay, check this out:

http://www.travelready.net/product_info.php/products_id/981

I have one of these. I tested it out. I followed the instructions, and operating the striker is quite intuitive (easy to figure out even without instructions).


I just bought one recently too. It works well to throw a spark, certainly well enough to light the tinder. Remember though, It is also a permanent match. Put a little lighter fluid in the hole in the plastic case and once the cloth wick on the metal match part gets saturated you can light it like a match on the flint. This means not only do you have a ferrocium rod, but basically a waterproof zippo......with the ability to keep the fluid longer. Keep in mind though that it is a bit dangerous which is probibly why it isn't mentioned in the instructions. (When you light it this way keep your finger over the hole and make sure the match is completely out before you put it back in) However, I see it as a much better version of a Zippo for survival purposes. You get the ability to use different fuels like a zippo, but you have a waterproof, non-leaking, non-evaporating version. It's like having the best of a Zippo and a Bic in one. <img src="images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

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#26533 - 04/07/04 10:35 AM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yup, it's the plastic version of the old Permanent Match, bundled without the normal instructions with some paraffin (wax) soaked cotton tinder cylinders very similar to those that come with the Spark-Lite. Best guess is that it's the cheapest source Coughlan's could find for a ferrocerium sparker of any kind.

I like the Permanent Match, though some have responded very negatively. I've carried one backpacking since the late '60s, and have a few in PSKs now. I find it much easier to use for starting fires, lanterns and stoves than a lighter, since it does operate more like a match. Obviously, if the fuel runs out, you still have a ferrocerium sparker.

It's not perfect- I've never had a safety problem with it, but then I've only used lighter fluid. I've read of other people using gasoline or white gas, which strikes me as dangerous. I've only used the plastic version, and it's held fuel without evaporation for several years, but I haven't tried the metal versions- I'm suspicious of whether any welded, brazed or soldered seams would really be vapor-tight over time, but I don't really know. They would seem heavier. Obviously, if used regularly, they don't hold much fuel- they're tiny.

A bigger downside is that if you let the "match" part burn too long, it can quickly get too hot to hold, or the fuel will burn out of the wick and the wick itself starts to char.

I got my last batch from a vendor on eBay, and they seem fine. One of the more valuable bits of instinctive wisdom I've picked up from decades of backpacking and camping is a deep horror of relying on ANYTHING that came in a green cardboard package with a diagonal red stripe in the corner. Do it enough times, and I predict you'll develop the same reflex. <img src="images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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#26534 - 04/07/04 12:52 PM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Pretty comprehensive feedback.
Thanks very much for the input.

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#26535 - 04/07/04 07:44 PM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
One thing that I noticed when I just re-read the post - the reason your Zippo didnt' work was because the flint was out.

Did you consider using the BlastMatch or the matches to ignite the wick in the Zippo? It would have given you a longer lasting flame than just the matches alone. In effect, you could use the Zippo as you would a candle.
_________________________
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."
-Plutarch

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#26536 - 04/08/04 03:09 AM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
Rusty Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 204
Loc: College Station, Texas
I did try that(and it worked fine to a certain extent <img src="images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />) but the failure made me so mad that i wanted to reformat my entire fire starting methods.
_________________________
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." - Frankin


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#26537 - 04/08/04 03:13 AM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
Rusty Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 204
Loc: College Station, Texas
Also, today i went out again (and the grass was dry) i use my cotton balls w/vas. 1st i got some dry grass started with a match and then i placed a "ball" in and i almost set my hand on fire when it flamed up <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />!!!!!!!!
_________________________
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." - Frankin


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#26538 - 04/08/04 04:23 AM Re: Fire-Starting Problem!!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Okay, so much for the class on fire starting.
Our next subject is First Aid!

Just kidding! <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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